Methuen Rangers Baseball '17

Wed, Jun 07, 2017 07:00 PM @ Methuen
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Final
Chelmsford 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Methuen 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1

O'Shea, Rangers advance

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Saturday, September, 07 By Kyle Gaudette

HAVERHILL — The only thing that mattered to Methuen workhorse Brendan O’Shea was getting those final three outs.

Nothing else, not even a controversial call that took a Ranger run off the board in the half inning prior, mattered to him.

“You know you can’t change anything,” said O’Shea. “So honestly I had to go out there and pitch my best. You just have to put it behind you and do the best you can do.”

The senior workhorse pulled off the heroics again, shutting down the top of Chelmsford order 1-2-3 in the seventh to give No. 1 seed Methuen the 1-0 win in the Division 1 North quarterfinals.

The Rangers (18-5), who were denied getting into the Super 8 field, set up a date with Lowell in the Division 1 North semifinals on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Endicott College. Three of the four semifinal teams (Andover, Methuen, Lowell) are from the MVC.

“We definitely wanted to make the Super 8 for sure, that was our goal,” said O’Shea, now an area-high 7-1 with a 0.70 ERA. “But we definitely weren’t down on ourselves. We’re still the No. 1 seed in the North which is a great accomplishment.

“So we still battled the way we do and it was a great win today.”

The win came despite some controversy in the sixth inning.

After being held to just one hit through five innings by Chelmsford’s All-MVC senior hurler Josh Roberge, Methuen finally seemed to break a scoreless tie in the sixth when Owen Foote crushed what was at first a two-out, two-run home run to the center field fence at Haverhill Stadium.

But after a 10-minute back and forth of appeal during which the umpires convening multiple times — and both teams waiting in the dugout thinking they were up to hit — it was decided that Foote did not hit third base and was ruled out. After believing they would be ahead 2-0 and still at the plate, the Rangers instead had to go to the seventh holding just a one-run lead.

Chelmsford initially appealed pinch runner Derek Hoh touching second and third base, then Foote — causing many in attendance to question whether a team can appeal two runners on the same play. Hoh was ruled to have touched all the bases, while Foote was ruled to have missed third.

Either way, Foote was just happy to give his team the lead — and advance his Rangers to the semis after O’Shea shut the door.

“It felt good. I just got a pitch in the right spot and tried to drive it up the middle,” said Foote. “And I just saw it in the gap and took off running.

“It’s time to make a statement and show who we really are and go far in this tournament.”

Foote’s double, as it ultimately turns out to be, was one of just three Methuen hits Wednesday.

But with the way O’Shea was pitching, it was all the Rangers needed. Lost in the drama of the ending was the big righty pitching his way out of a bases loaded, no-out spot in the third and a second and third, one-out spot in the fourth.

O’Shea finished with a complete-game shutout, scattering five hits while striking out seven.

“Houdini again,” said Methuen coach Bill Blackwell. “He just works his way through. He doesn’t get miffed. His emotions don’t get too high or too low. I don’t know what else to say.”

It’s on to the Division 1 North semis for the Rangers, with senior Jacob Thibault getting the start against Lowell on Thursday.

Game Statistics:

Division 1 North Quarterfinal

Chemsford (0): Barry 2b 4-0-1, Milwe 3b 4-0-1, Roberge p 4-0-1, Brown lf 3-0-1, Sweeney lf 3-0-0, Hart ss 2-0-0, Ryan dh 2-0-0, Untracht cf 3-0-1, Beauchesne lf 3-0-0. Totals 28-0-5

Methuen (1): Thibault ss 3-0-0, Blackwell c 3-0-1, Hoh pr 0-1-0, Foote cf 3-0-1, Perdomo lf 2-0-1, O'Shea p 2-0-0, Pare rf 1-0-0, Marcano 3b 2-0-0, Melia 1b 2-0-0, Rogato 2b 2-0-0. Totals 20-1-3

RBI: Foote

WP: O'Shea; LP: Roberge

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